TERESOPOLIS, Brazil (AP) — Brazil plays its second match of the World Cup against old rival Mexico on Tuesday, hoping another victory will be enough to secure a spot in the second round of the home tournament.
After a difficult 3-1 win against Croatia in Thursday's opener, Brazil has a chance to advance to the round of 16 by beating the Mexicans in the northeastern city of Fortaleza. Mexico also started with a victory, beating Cameroon 1-0, and will similarly be looking to advance from Group A.
The winner of Tuesday's match will be guaranteed a spot in the next round if Cameroon and Croatia draw their match on Wednesday in the jungle city of Manaus.
"We know it's going to be another difficult match," Brazil playmaker Oscar said. "It could decide which team advances to the next round, so it will be like a final again. We know that it will be tough."
The Latin American rivals have met several times in the last few years, with Brazil winning in the Confederations Cup last year and Mexico coming out on top in the final of the 2012 Olympics, a result that kept a Brazilian team led by Neymar and Oscar from winning the nation's first gold medal in football.
"That one especially hurt, it was a title we didn't have," Oscar said. "We know Mexico has a very good team. It has always created difficulties for Brazil and I'm sure it won't be any different this time."
Coincidentally, the Confederations Cup match was also played in Fortaleza, and was also the second game of a group stage. Brazil won 2-0 with goals by Neymar and Jo.
Mexico has won seven of the last 15 matches against the five-time world champion, including two of the last four.
"Every match against Mexico is difficult," Brazil defender Henrique said. "They have players with a lot of quality. That is always the case."